BCF Presidential Search Committee named, seeks input to find next ‘visionary’ leader

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GRACEVILLE– A five-member Presidential Search Committee has been named by trustees of The Baptist College of Florida to find the next president to continue the legacy of the institution founded in 1943. The committee is actively seeking recommendations from Florida and Southern Baptists to find the next “visionary” leader who can guide the school in the future.

BCF President Thomas Kinchen, who has overseen the college’s expansion and growth for three decades, announced this past year he will retire from the role.

Trustees named to the search committee are RC Mills, retired business executive and member of First Baptist Church in Jacksonville, chair; Chris Coram, associate pastor of North Jacksonville Baptist Church, vice-chair; Melodee Davis, administrator of Cornerstone Christian Academy and member of Avon Park Lakes Baptist Church; Otto Fernandez, pastor, Riverside Baptist Church in Miami; and Al Guettler, business owner and member of First Baptist Church in Chipley.

According to Mills, the search committee will be seeking that “uniquely qualified individual who can provide the visionary leadership needed to effectively lead The Baptist College of Florida going forward in the educational development of Christian men and women for Christian service and ministry.”

The committee is conducting a Southern Baptist Convention-wide search asking Florida and Southern Baptists to send recommendations and as well as resumes of persons to consider for the role, said vice-chair Coram.

“The Baptist College of Florida is in a time of expansion with locations in South Florida and Lakeland, as well as the campus in Graceville, and a thriving on-line enrollment,” he said. “We are looking for a leader who can take us to the next level, go forward in 2022 and build on the great legacy of Dr. Kinchen.”

“We want to hear from Florida Baptists and our SBC seminary leaders who they would recommend to lead the college in this critical time of development, great growth and change.” Coram said.

“Recommendations are vitally important.”

He stressed the committee would like to receive two things: “First, any recommendations of someone you consider has the potential to lead the college. Secondly, resumes of anyone who is interested in applying.”

“The committee will handle your recommendation confidentially and will be discreet in contacting any potential recommendations,” he added.

A secure email has been established for responses at presidentialsearchcommittee@baptistcollege.edu.

“Applicants will receive an acknowledgment letter of resume receipt and can be assured that their resume will be treated with utmost confidentiality throughout the review process,” Mills added.

The committee chair said that the college has been “blessed to be led by a visionary leader in Kinchen, who possesses a unique set of management talents and skills which he has applied as college president over the past 32 years. His love and passion for serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through the educating of others for Christian service and ministry has been evident throughout his three decades as president of The Baptist College of Florida.”

BCF, Baptist College of Florida, Graduation, Tom KinchenHe credited Kinchen as having “successfully combined the qualities of an academic seminary education grounded in deep Biblical theology, business and financial administration, personnel and organization management with common sense leadership skills in effectively managing the many facets of a Christian College.

The Baptist College of Florida is an institute of higher education designed to train and develop Christian leaders for the church and marketplace through offering 19 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The college is a cooperating ministry of the Florida Baptist Convention operating campuses in Graceville, Central Florida and Miami.

The president of the college is elected by and is responsible to the Board of Trustees, and is charged with carrying out the mission, purpose, and administration of the college.

Questions about the process, qualifications for the position or input into the next leader can be addressed to the search committee members as follows:

RC Mills, chair

Chris Coram, vice chair

Melodee Davis

Otto Fernandez

Al Guettler

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